Here's your Red Sox primer as Boston opens its season Thursday night in Seattle

Providence Journal

The Red Sox open their season tonight in Seattle with 10:10 p.m. game against the Mariners. Boston wrapped up its Grapefruit League season at 19-12, good for third place behind Baltimore (23-6) and Detroit (20-9), before sweeping a two-game exhibition series with the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

So how will the Red Sox do this season? Well, most prognosticators don't give Boston much of a chance to compete in the A.L. East, with many predicting a third-straight last-place finish in the division. Baltimore remains the trendy pick, with the Orioles coming off a 101-win season in 2023. But with baseball season upon us, the old saying goes — hope springs eternal.

A healthy Trevor Story could go a long way to helping the Red Sox climb out of the American League basement.

Here's a look at the Red Sox, from our spring training coverage ahead of tonight's first pitch:

The good, and the bad of this year's Red Sox

There are actually some bright spots in this year's team — a talented core of young players and a (knock on wood) healthy Trevor Story may help these Sox surpass some of this season's dire predictions.

More:How good will the Red Sox be? A look at the good and bad as the team opens season Thursday

What's next for Alex Cora?

Boston's 2018 World Series champion skipper enters the season on the last year of his contract. Will the Red Sox extend him, or will Cora move on at season's end? If you ask some of his players, there's no doubt where their support lies.

More:Red Sox players support manager Alex Cora in final contract year; What's next for Cora?

Red Sox manager Alex Cora enters this season on the last year of his contract with Boston.

Who's on first... and second, third for this Red Sox team?

Take a look at the probably starting lineup as Boston is set to open the season with some familiar faces, and some new ones taking the field in Seattle.

More:With the season opener on Thursday, here's a look at the Red Sox starting lineup

Is Brayan Bello ready for the spotlight?

Boston was expected to name the newly acquired Lucas Giolito as the opening day starting pitcher. But an elbow injury this spring is expected to keep him out for the season. Now, the role of Red Sox ace falls to soon-to-be 25-year-old Brayan Bello.

More:Brayan Bello to be Boston Red Sox's Opening Day starter; how he earned that honor

Triston Casas is getting defensive

Boston's young first baseman has been working on his fielding, spending much of the offseason working on becoming a better defender. His performance at the plate last year — .263 average, 24 home runs, 65 RBI and a .856 OPS — had him finish third in A.L. Rookie of the Year voting.

More:The Red Sox infield defense was a disaster last year; what 1B Triston Casas is doing about it